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Decemviri

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In 452 BCE plebeians and patricians agreed on the creation of a ten-person college to deal with the codification of Roman law. Until now, all norms of social life were based on common law, whose familiarity and interpretation were reserved for pontificates derived from patricians – this only strengthened their power over the plebeians.

The new clerical college was called decemviri, which, as the name suggests, consisted of 10 officials. The college ruled in the years 451-449 BCE in the same month, and its leaders for 451 BCE were consuls Appius Claudius Crassus and Titus Genucius Augurinus. Decemviri were given wide power in the state and they have been competent to all civil servants. During their tenure, the officials codified the law (the so-called law of twelve tables).

However, with the completion of work on the project, the college began to act in an unlawful manner. In 449 BCE decemviri, without the consent of other institutions, extended their term of office for another year. They began to rule tyranny and were nicknamed ten Tarquini. The murder of one of the plebeians and the raping of a girl named Vergina by Appius Claudius led to the armed uprising of the plebeians, as a result of which the decemviri were overthrown.

Composition of the decemvirs’ college

451 BCE

  • Appius Claudius Crassus Inregillensis Sabinus, konsul;
  • Titus Genucius Augurinus, konsul;
  • Titus Veturius Crassus Cicurinus;
  • Gaius Iulius Iullus;
  • Aulus Manlius Vulso;
  • Servius Sulpicius Camerinus Cornutus;
  • Publius Sestius Capito Vaticanus;
  • Publius Curiatius Fistus Trigeminus;
  • Titus Romilius Rocus Vaticanus;
  • Spurius Postumius Albus Regillensis

450 and 449 BCE

  • Appius Claudius Crassus Inregillensis Sabinus;
  • Marcus Cornelius Maluginensis;
  • Marcus Sergius Esquilinus;
  • Lucius Minucius Esquilinus Augurinus;
  • Quintus Fabius Vibulanus;
  • Quintus Poetelius Libo Visolus;
  • Titus Antonius Merenda;
  • Caeso Duillius Longus;
  • Spurius Oppius Cornicen;
  • Manius Rabuleius
Sources
  • Kolańczyk Kazimierz, Prawo rzymskie, Warszawa 1978

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